They discover an anomalously "inflated" exoplanet

Every week, telescopes around the world detect new exoplanets that orbit around stars other than the Sun. But the last one has found the United Kingdom Infrared Telescope (known by the acronym UKIRT), 3.8 meters in diameter and located in Hawaii, is out of the ordinary: to be very bloated, the new planet "challenges the conventional models of planetary evolution and supports the hypothesis that this type of celestial objects could have been formed in a radically different way to those of the Solar System ", explains Eduardo Martín, researcher at the Center for Astrobiology of the CSIC and co-author of the work published by the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

Current theories predict that the radii of the newly formed planets decrease with the passage of time as they radiate their internal energy. However, considering that the discovered exoplanet - named WTS-1b - and its progenitor star were formed 600 million years ago, the body should be 20% larger than Jupiter and not 50%, as observe One possible explanation is the great closeness between WTS-1b and its star, which means that the exoplanet has not cooled down so quickly and remains "inflated".

The WTS-1 star is located in the disk of the Milky Way, about 10,400 light-years away from Earth, making WTS-1b one of the 15 farthest known exoplanets. Its radius is 15% higher than the Sun's and its temperature -about 6.250 degrees Kelvin- is greater than that of the Sun. The use of spectroscopic techniques has revealed that the exoplanet is a gaseous body of the type 'hot Jupiter', because with a mass similar to Jupiter it is in a much more closed orbit than Mercury (about ten times closer), so that the amount of energy received from the star is considerable. The radius of the exoplanet is 1.5 times that of Jupiter, and its mass is four times higher.



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